Sunday, November 3, 2019

Artie 3000™ Coding and Drawing Robot... a bit of a review...

I came across this one on Facebook... and as an educator who specializes in Student Robotics, Student Creativty, and Art Education this naturally caught my attention...

ART-BOTS have been around a long time. I included some stuff on them in my book for ISTE (International Socieity for Technology in Education) "Getting Started with LEGO Robotics: An Educators Guide"... those were drawing robots that kids created and constructed with the LEGO Robotics Kits... and that's quite a project. But this is something related but different. This one appears to be a pre-built robot whose function is to draw... kids (or adults) create works of art by programming the robot to draw it as it travels around. Again, not a new idea, there were LOGO (programming language) Turtle Robots drawing for kids who programmed them years and years ago.

BUT the ARTIE 3000 Coding and Drawing Robot seems to me to be a low cost, robust student robot that does all of this well and that should give kids in classrooms (or elsewhere) very good STEAM learning experiences with much of the prep and problems taken out of it... In other words IF you want kids to get down to coding a robot and making art with it (and there is a rich, rich vein of learning to be mined through this approach), this seems to be a good approach!

As for the Visual Art aspect of this... Well, kids won't develop the motor skills involved painstakingly learning to draw with a simple implement like a pencil (I taught middle school drawing for many years, by the way)... BUT, that TOO could be the point because Artie 3000 promises to draw shapes (and patterns, etc) that appear visually perfect, thus taking the frustration factor (a high one) out of the art activity.

What sort of artistic image  might a kid make with this? Well, the kid has to learn how to program the robot to draw what he or she wants (trust me, the coding/programing approaches that would be used ARE simple and will lead to a good understanding how programming works... and by extension, how humans get their intelligent machines to do their work for them).

Could kids make great art with Artie? Why not? And by the way, the robot isn't making the "Art", simply making the marks on the paper... the ideas, explorations, art works... are the kids... And as is the case with any other 'Art Tool' Artie is a means and not an end... and thus, kids will still benefit from learning discipline and perseverance (grit) and in learning what is Art and the elements of design that go into it, etc... The kinds of things that a good art teacher would teach.

Caution, while I do think that this would make a great addition for any classroom (could be a single unit placed as a learning station somewhere in the classroom). This will not take the place of a full Technology/Student Robotics program and will not take the place of an Art Program (although this would make a nice addtiion to one and, as a bonus, make for a great way to understand STEAM, the intersection of STEM with the Arts)... You go, Artie 3000!


As it appeared this morning in Amazon...

Educational Insights Artie 3000 The Coding Robot: STEM Toy, Coding Robot for Kids 7+

Amazon's Choice for "mensa for kids"

List Price: $69.99
Price: $62.99 FREE One-Day & FREE Returns

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